Last year in the US, advertisers were allowed to use trademarks in their adverts even though they were not the trademark owner. This helped resellers, wholesalers, value add products and competitors. This is now being standardised globally.
So, as of September 14th 2010, in Canada, UK and Ireland advertisers will be able to do this too. Now, this is helpful if you are selling a case for a iPad etc.
The fact that is appended to this announcement is that at the same time, they will be able to use trademarks as keywords. For more specifics, they have some more information on the Google Adwords blog.
What are the likely impacts?
- If you are a big brand with affiliates, resellers etc, your cost per click may rise, with increased levels of keyword competition
- If there are alternative better ads, your click through rate may suffer
- If you were not buying your brand and relying on SEO, then you may need to consider a change to your plan
How could you control this?
- If it is your resellers or affiliates, check your terms and conditions of business as you may have that clause in a real contract
- Ensure your set-up is really efficient, your CTR is high, quality score is high etc to leverage your history and position
If I was cynical, then I would suggest Google are just wanting more money. Or, its just freeing up, free-markets!